Embracing the Rain

Today, I embraced the rain.

Literally.

Let me back up.

Today, Boyfriend and I decided that we were going to go blueberry picking. It was an overcast day with scattered showers, making it a poor day to go hiking, swimming, fishing, or any of our other usual summer weekend activities. We didn’t think we were going to get a chance to pick blueberries this year, and figured that since our hiking plans were a wash (pun intended), we would try to fit in a visit to a blueberry farm and a to see my parents, who live out in the country where all the good things in the world, like blueberry farms, reside.

We looked at weather and it seemed like although it was supposed to rain fairly steadily in the morning, it should just be cloudy in the afternoon, so we planned to get to the farm around 2:30, picking until it was time to head to my parents for dinner. We spent a leisurely morning eating delicious cornmeal pancakes and taking Boyfriend's dad to the farmers market and watching him get excited about the produce.

When we finally headed out to the farm, the weather looked exactly as expected - the rain had stopped around lunch time and now it was just a dreary day...perfect for berry-picking! Personally, I like picking berries on cloudy days better than sunny days because the sun begins the feel like an enemy when you’re standing in an open field, bending over, focusing on tiny little balls of squish (i.e. berries).

We got our pails and headed out to the far reaches of the farm, partly to avoid the other pickers and partly because the guy who gave us the buckets told us that the further we went, the more berries there would probably be. We cheerfully began to pick, getting excited over how tiny the berries were (tiny = more flavor), racing who could pick the fastest, and pointing out interesting butterflies and insects that we observed as we picked.

Suddenly, it began to sprinkle. I looked up at the sky, and we were under an unusually dark patch of clouds, but the patch was very small, so I shrugged it off. It was just a light sprinkle and to be honest, it actually felt rather good - it wasn’t enough to really get us wet; it was just enough to provide a bit of cool mist to our faces.

A few minutes later the sprinkles stopped and we kept picking as the sun came peeking out from behind the clouds. We started commenting to each other about how nice the day was for berry picking, and how long it would probably take us to fill our gallon pails.

When sprinkles returned about 20 minutes later, I didn’t think much of it...until the sprinkles started to get more drizzle-like. Scrunching my nose in distaste I glanced upward...to see a massive expanse of darkness, just as the rain started to truly pick up.

“It’s raining,” I said, because apparently I didn’t think Boyfriend would notice the cold drops falling from the sky.

“I’m okay,” he said. “I can stay as long as you want - but if you want to head back, let me know.”

I blinked. Boyfriend hates rain more than I do, and I react to it like cat that has been dropped in a pond.

“Excuse me?” I asked. “You’re okay with this?”

"Yeah," he said. "Look - I'm under a bush. It's fine."

What a great idea! Since it wasn’t really supposed to be raining, this cloud would probably quickly pass. I hurriedly wedged myself under a bush and continued picking berries, covering my pail with an extra pail that we’d brought to shelter it from rain.

I quickly ran out of berries to pick from my sheltered area of the center of the bush, but the tantalizingly blue ball of deliciousness seemed to be calling to me from just beyond my reach. If I could just reach that really big one...I stretched an arm out through the leaves, promptly dumping water on my head.

Because I am an idiot, I did this several more times, soaking myself. On top of that, the rain was getting harder and the bush was no longer offering full protection from the weather. In fact, I was pretty wet.

“Boyfriend?” I called.

“Yeah?”

“Are you sure you’re okay? We can go in if you want.”

"Whenever you're ready is fine. I'm neutral."

“Are you sure you’re okay? You hate rain!”

“Yes, I’m fine.”

“Well, let’s go. I know how much you must hate this.”

“We can go if you want. But I don’t care either way.”

I stopped, perplexed. Suddenly I realized something - I wasn’t really concerned for is well-being. I mean, I was, but that wasn’t my main reason for seeing if he wanted to leave the berry patch. I didn’t want to be wet anymore. I didn’t want to be out in the pouring rain. But I’m tough, and awesome, and outdoorsy, and I didn’t want to admit that I wanted to be like all of the other berry-pickers in the field, and go into shelter instead of continuing to harvest the blueberries.

At this point, I had two choices. I could stubbornly stay under that bush, trying to hide behind the leaves and miserably hate everything. I could run back to the car, hating everything as I got even more wet before reaching shelter. Or...maybe I had a third choice. I could just accept that I was getting wet and enjoy picking the gosh-darn blueberries. You might even say I could embrace the rain.

I stepped out from my bush and winced as the rain hit me in a freezing cold onslaught of driving droplets. Then I slowly turned toward the brunt of the rainstorm, spread my arms, and lifted my face, letting the water hit me with its full force.

“I EMBRACE YOU. I EMBRACE THE RAIN!” I yelled, ‘hugging’ the rainwater. “YOU ARE MINE NOW.”

And then I turned and started picking berries again.

‘Um, Jess?” Boyfriend asked. “Does that mean we’re not leaving?”
“Nope. I embraced the rain. Because I’m awesome.”

“...okay then.”

I kept picking and I really, honestly wasn’t miserable. The rain suddenly seemed less cold and less intrusive. Oh, my shirt was soaked and I had to take off my glasses in order to see anything, but I just accepted all it - no, I embraced all of it. This water would be very welcome by the plants after the long dry spell we had gone through, and this rain was good.

Lo and behold, the sun did eventually come back out and warm us up, and we finished our blueberry picking and had a nice visit with my parents. But when the rain came again the next day, and I was caught walking in it...I didn’t really care. It was a good rain. Rain is mine now. Because I embraced the rain.

Disclaimer: Being out in the rain can be dangerous at low temperatures, because being wet and cold can give you pneumonia, and it’s super dangerous if there is lightning or other severe weather. Please don’t do anything stupid.

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